Monday, August 29, 2016

Everything You Need to Ace Books

Everything You Need to Ace Books
Published at Workman

About the books

The BIG FAT NOTEBOOK™ series is built on a simple and irresistible conceit—borrowing the notes from the smartest kid in class. There are five books in all, and each is the only book you need for each main subject taught in middle school: Math, Science, American History, English Language Arts, and World History. Inside the reader will find every subject’s key concepts, easily digested and summarized: Critical ideas highlighted in neon colors. Definitions explained. Doodles that illuminate tricky concepts in marker. Mnemonics for memorable shortcuts. And quizzes to recap it all.

For the purpose of this review, I have received the books on English Language Arts, World History and Science.

English Language Arts

Everything You Need to Ace English Language Arts . . .takes students from grammar to reading comprehension to writing with ease, including parts of speech, active and passive verbs, Greek and Latin roots and affixes; nuances in word meanings; textual analysis, authorship, structure, and other skills for reading fiction and nonfiction; and writing arguments, informative texts, and narratives.

World History

Everything You Need to Ace World History . . . kicks off with the Paleolithic Era and transports the reader to ancient civilizations—from Africa and beyond; the middle ages across the world; the Renaissance; the age of exploration and colonialism, revolutions, and the modern world and the wars and movements that shaped it.


Everything You Need to Ace Science . . . takes readers from scientific investigation and the engineering design process to the Periodic Table; forces and motion; forms of energy; outer space and the solar system; to earth sciences, biology, body systems, ecology, and more.

My Thoughts

I am always on the lookout for books that could help my kids to grasp a certain topic like World History or Science for example.   So when I stumble on these titles I though they would be great to have as reference for anything related to English Language Arts, World History or Science my kids might want to know.   Already I know that I will use the World History and the Science one this year.   The English Language Arts is always nice to have when they stumble on something with their grammar or writing.  

What I particularly like about these books is that the presentation of the information is original in itself.   The sections are color coded in the book so you can easily glance the table of contents and then switch to the section needed.   You will also find plenty of illustrations and graphs that will help to better assimilate the information and learn from the pages.  Finally each unit concludes with a small “test” called Check your Knowledge.  Answers are also provided for the student to check if he/she has the proper responses.

The use of color through the page of this book will be attractive to a middle school student for many reasons.  I recall using numerous colors when studying and this book will help to understand and comprehend a specific subject at hand.   Besides, knowing that these books were created from the brains behind the Brain Quest products helps to know that the information within these pages will be accurate.

9780761160915_3DEnglish Language Arts

Here’s a quick look of the table of contents in the English Language Arts book:

  • Unit 1: Grammar: Phrases and clauses, subjective pronouns, objective pronouns, possessive pronouns, intensive pronouns, verbals, active and passive voice and verbs, verbs and mood, defining from context, Latin and Greek affixes and roots, reference materials.
  • Unit 2:  Language: figurative language, word relationships, nuances in word meanings.
  • Unit 3: Reading Fiction: Types of fiction, objective summary, textual analysis and evidence, authorship and narration, setting, character, plot, theme, tone, poetry, fiction reading list.
  • Unit 4: Reading NonFiction: types of nonfiction, textual analysis and evidence, authorship, central ideas and arguments, structure, nonfiction reading list.
  • Unit 5: Writing: researching for writing, writing practices, writing arguments, expository writing – informative and explanatory texts, writing narratives.

Also here’s a few pages of the book so you can see what it looks like.


9780761160946_3DWorld History

Here’s a quick look of the table of contents in the History book:

  • Unit 1:  The First Humans – Prehistory – 3500 BCE: first humans and the paleolithic era, neolithic era.
  • Unit 2: First Civilizations – 3500 BCE – 300 CE: Mesopotamia, Ancient Africa, Phoenicians and Israelites, Ancient India, Ancient China, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rom.
  • Unit 3: Middle Ages 400 CE – 1500 CE: Byzantine Empire, Rise of Islam in the Middle Ages, early civilizations of the Americas, Medieval India, Golden Age of China, Medieval Japan, Europe in the Middle Ages, European Crusades in the Muslim World.
  • Unit 4: Renaissance and Reformations - 1350-1650: Renaissance begins, Reformation.
  • Unit 5: Age of Exploration – 1400-1800: Europe sets sail, Europe explores Asia (or tries to), American Colonies,
  • Unit 6: Revolution and Enlightenment – 1500-1865: scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, monarchies rise in Europe, American Revolution, French Revolution, nationalism across Europe and Independence movements in South America and Haiti, American Civil War, Industrial Revolution, Women’s Movement.
  • Unit 7: Era of Imperialism – 1800-1914: European quest for imperialism, scramble for Africa, Japan modernizes, Spanish-American War, reactions to colonization.
  • Unit 8: World conflicts in the Early Twentieth Century – 1914 – 1945: World War I, Great Depression, political shifts after the war, World War II.
  • Unit 9: Post-World War II – the World from 1945 to today: changes in Europe and the Middle East after World War II, Cold War, nationalist and independence movements after World War II, modern global transformations, global security and major world events of today.58

Also here’s a few pages of the book so you can see what it looks like.



Here’s a quick look of the table of contents in the Science book:

  • Unit 1: Scientific Investigation: thinking like a scientist, scientific experiments, lab reports and evaluating results, SI units and measurements, lab safety and scientific tools.
  • Unit 2: Matter, Chemical Reactions and Solutions: matter, properties, and phases, periodic table, atomic structure, compounds, solutions and fluids.
  • Unit 3: Motion, Forces, and Work: motion, force and Newton’s Laws of motion, gravity, friction, more forces in everyday life, work and machines.
  • Unit 4: Energy: forms of energy, thermal energy, light and sound waves, electricity and magnetism, electrical energy sources.
  • Unit 5: Outer Space – The Universe and the Solar System: the solar system and space exploration, sun-earth-moon system, stars, galaxies, origin of the universe and our solar system.
  • Unit 6: The Earth, Weather, Atmosphere, and Climate: minerals, rocks, earth’s structure, earth’s crust in motion, weathering, erosion, earth’s atmosphere, water cycle, weather, climate.
  • Unit 7: Life – Classification and Cells: organisims, biological classification, cell theory, cell structure, cellular transport, metabolism, cell reproduction, protein synthesis.
  • Unit 8: Plants and Animals: plant structure, reproduction, invertebrates, vertebrates, homeostasis, behavior.
  • Unit 9: The Human Body and Body Systems: skeletal and muscular systems, nervous and endocrine systems, digestive and excretory systems, respiratory and circulatory systems, immune and lymphatic systems, human reproduction and development.
  • Unit 10: History of life – heredity, evolution, and fossils: heredity and genetics, evolution, fossils and rock ages, history of life on earth.
  • Unit 11: Ecology – habitats, interdependence, and resources: ecology and ecosystems, interdependence and the cycling of energy and matter, ecological succession and biomes, natural resources and conservation.

Also here’s a few pages of the book so you can see what it looks like.

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Keep in mind that these books are written with a secular perspective but I still find that they can be useful for any homeschool as well as school students of middle and even high school.  Two other titles are also available – one on Math and the other on American History. 

The Everything You Need to Ace Book (also known as the Big Fat NoteBook series) is available at your favourite bookstore, even on and






Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen for sending me the above mentioned books for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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